History

Placeholder

Roland Park Country School is a very special place, marked by a resilient spirit that has been the School's hallmark since its inception over 100 years ago.

This spirit has traveled with the School from the original campus on Keswick Road to Roland Avenue to University Parkway to our present campus at Chestnutwood.

RPCS is committed to providing students with the tools and knowledge necessary to pursue their passions with confidence, responsibility and an understanding of the world around them. We invite you to share in our remarkable history and in the spirit that has carried RPCS through the past century.

 

The laurel leaf has stood alone at the center of the School seal. The laurel leaf is a symbol of the high goals RPCS holds for itself and its students. This motif, which alumnae proudly display when they wear their Roland Park Country School ring, honors the School's long tradition of excellence.

Timeline

A neighborhood school, the Roland Park School for boys and girls, is established by Katherine and Adelaide Howard, of Richmond Virginia, at their home on Notre Dame Avenue, now Keswick Road. Money is loaned to them by the Roland Park Company.

The Roland Park School, also called the Baltimore Country School for Girls, is sponsored by the Roland Park Company and directed by Corrine Jackson and Bertha Chapman.

Located at 210 Roland Avenue, now 4608 Roland Avenue, the Roland Park School under Bertha Chapman, Principal, institutes a college preparatory curriculum. The school continues to admit boys to Preparatory through 4th grade.

Katherine Jones Harrison becomes the first graduate of now Roland Park Country School, graduating from a class of one.

The School is incorporated under Maryland laws and has an independent existence, apart from the Roland Park Company. Dr. A.R.L. Dohme is the first President of the Board of Trustees.

First Headmistress, Nanna Duke Dushane, presides over RPCS.

Due to an expanding student body, the school moves to 817 West University Parkway. An open-air school is built on the Greenway estate.

During World War I, the hockey field is planted with potatoes while the school flower beds are planted with peas and beans.

The school expands, from seven to eight grades in the main school. There continue to be four grades in the primary school. RPCS' Alumnae Association is organized.

Elizabeth M. Castle becomes the second Headmistress of the School.

The RPCS field hockey team has their first games. The record for the season is 2-0-1.

The President of the Alumnae Association, Louise Kemp, 1925, is welcomed as the first alumna representative to the Board of Trustees.

The night after the June commencement, 75 percent of the school is destroyed by fire. The Trustees make an immediate decision to rebuild and additional fundraising begins to rebuild the gymnasium in memory of Amanda Lee Norris, retired Athletic Director. The school opens as scheduled in September.

Anne Healy becomes the third Headmistress of RPCS.

The last class of third primary boys graduated in June.

RPCS changes its admission policy to read: “Application without discrimination for all qualified applicants" and becomes the first girls’ school in Maryland to be awarded a Cum Laude chapter.

Headmistress Anne Healy retires after 25 years. Gordon K. Lenci becomes the School's first Headmaster. Again, RPCS decides to enroll boys in Preparatory through 3rd grade. The curriculum expands with added science, electives and college guidance.

Fire breaks out in the new Upper School wing, built in 1968, during Thanksgiving vacation. School starts the following Monday in makeshift classrooms. The Trustees are forced to a decide whether to renovate or relocate.

The Board of Trustees purchases the 21 acre estate adjacent to St. Mary's Seminary on Roland Avenue, known as Chestnutwood. The estate was formerly owned by Dr. and Mrs. A.R.L. Dohme and previously by Charles Bonaparte, the great-grandson of Jerome Bonaparte, Naploeon Bonaparte's brother.

In October, students march north on Roland Avenue to their new campus at 5204 Roland Avenue.

Due to a drop in the male birth population and limited space, RPCS terminates admission for young boys.

Margaret E. Smith becomes the fifth Head of School.

RPCS, Gilman and Bryn Mawr begin to coordinate Upper School classes.

Jean Waller Brune, 1960 becomes the first RPCS alumna to be appointed Head of School.

Mary Ellen Thomsen becomes the first female President of the Board of Trustees.

RPCS completes construction of an Arts Center, a new Upper and Middle School library, science labs, classrooms, a computer center, and an expanded athletic center.

Celeste Woodward Applefeld, 1964 becomes the second female President of the Board of Trustees and the first alumna to hold this position.

RPCS celebrates its Centennial and dedicates its new building including Lower School additions, the Smith Middle School, new science laboratories and new Upper School classrooms.

RPCS completes construction of the RPCS Athletic Complex, opens a child care center and significantly increases the endowment.

RPCS celebrates the retirement of Jean Waller Brune, 1960 after 24 years of service as Head of School.

Caroline Blatti becomes the seventh Head of School.